ATU-Ozark Adult Education instructor, Carole Harmon Awarded after 50 years in Education

Carole Harmon is a teacher and a hero. After fifty years of teaching primary and secondary education, the Community Service, Inc. Youth Foundation honored her at the Heroes Gala, in Altus, Arkansas.
Carole knew as a young woman she wanted to teach.
“My family was migrant workers, and I wanted to do something better [with my life].”
She began her post-secondary education at Arkansas Tech University. She worked full-time jobs in addition to completing her required classes and in 1963 when she received her university diploma, she knew the hard work was well worth the effort.
Her teaching career began at Mansfield Public Schools as a long term substitute physical education teacher. She eventually became an elementary teacher, focusing on the second grade, although she taught most grade levels at one point in time or another.
After she retired from teaching primary, one of Carole’s longtime ATU friends asked her if she would like to aid in local GED testing. Carole said yes.
She has been helping GED students for the past twenty years.
A few days a week, Carole can be found at the Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus Adult Education Center in Ozark.
“Well, I love the position of being a teacher. I like teaching the GED testing and anything that keeps me involved with helping people succeed.”
Students must be proficient in reading, language arts, math, science, and social studies. Math is generally the most difficult for students to grasp, and Carol admits it is sometimes a struggle for her too, although she finds navigating the computer her most challenging task.
She has noticed that her students generally find comfort in pushing buttons on the computer, more so than learning by hand. So Carole reaches one student at a time, by instilling the value of education. At her core, the reason Carole continues to teach is her willingness to help people to succeed.
“[ I am] trying to make the world a better place through education because that seems like a good way to go, you know, to become educated.”
Carole has bumped into former students either from her time in primary or GED education. Each person had two common words for her. “Thank you.”
“I have told my students in the past, ‘You hang with me. If you do what I ask you to do, then you will get your GED. You may not like me by the time it is over, but I promise, I will get you there.’”
Carole is one of the countless professionals who continually dedicate their lives for future generations. Her selflessness and commitment to gifting individuals a future beyond the classroom is precisely the reason why teachers work each day.
Carole knows her (second) retirement is sooner than later, but in the meantime, she continues to shape the lives of the people who walk through the doors of the Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus Adult Education Center.

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